N.B. wrestler makes Hollywood debut in 300
A New Brunswick wrestler has a monstrous role in a Hollywood film premiering Friday.
Former WWE star Robert Maillet, 37, has been known as Kurgan, The Interrogator, and the Acadian Giant.
In the part-fantasy, part-war epic 300, he's known as the Uber Immortal, a bloodthirsty, larger-than-life Persian warrior.
The movie tells the tale ofa battlebetween 300 Spartans and the vast Persian army.
"The Persians at the time were trying to enslave the world, the known world at the time," Mailletsaid during an interview in his Ste. Marie-de-Kent home. "They wanted Sparta. Sparta said no, they believed in freedom and the Persians didn't. So the clash happened."
Maillet trained for two months and spent eight hours a day in a makeup chair for five days of filming to appear in one major fight scene. He doesn't have any lines; he just screams and kills.
"He's a monster-type character," Maillet said of the Uber Immortal. "He's very angry, he wants to kill the Spartans. So it's not much of a stretch from what I played in the wrestling. I scream my head off."
He said the casting of his character was done at the last minute. Producers had been shooting the film in Montreal fora month when they started putting out calls for an actor with a large physical presence.
"They wanted to look for someone who'd be a giant, a giant guy who could do his own stunts," Maillet said.
Producers went to a wrestling school for recommendations. The owner of the school knew Maillet, who is almost seven feet tall, and referred them to him.
Maillet credits his size and background in wrestling for getting him on the big screen. He said his look helped and his audition centred on how well he could take a punch.
"Of course in wrestling, you know how to take a punch and give a punch, too," Maillet said. "It's just timing."
Maillet said he plans to filla theatre in Moncton Friday night with a few dozen of his closest friends and his mom.